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January 2009
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April 2009

Selling your business v managing succession

This is a choice that business owners face.  Do you plan to sell your business when the time is right?  Or do you plan for some kind of succession?   Of course the two needn't be mutually exclusive - a succession buyout or VIMBO can be partial with the owner retaining a meaningful stake.  And this can then be followed by a trade sale for example.   

We have done a number of management buyouts of this pattern where the plan is to groom the management team who are to achieve the succession over a period, and then the entrepreneur can exit fully at a later date.    

Invite front cover This allows the rest of the team to become stakeholders, and the business often benefits.   Work life balance issues for the original owner can be addressed as it might yield the opportunity to go part time.   Each deal is different as no two companies, and especially no two directors have the same objectives.

To address these questions, and the thorny questions of when IS the time right to sell given the current difficult climate we are running an updated version of our Business Exit Strategies Seminars.    They will also cover grooming the business to build value or protect value in recession.

Even if a transaction in the short term is neither practical nor desirable, it is more than ever time to make plans for an eventual exit - or cash realisation.

The events are practially focused with interactive sessions and aimed squarely at business owners. 

They run in April in Ipswich and Cambridge, and again in Norwich and Peterborough in June.      Have a look at the events page on our website for full details of these and other events that we are running.

The slave of duty........

Another post about singing.     I'm off to Penzance once again to play Frederick in Pirates of Penzance with SIMADS- in St Ives (Cambridgeshire not Cornwall).    Curtain up 1 April and the run continues until 4 April, at the Burgess Hall in St Ives.    Another events page with more details here.

Sharon_Lake_Cath_mont Our Friday night show will be exactly 129 years to the day since the show opened at the Opera Comiquein London in 1880, although it did famously open first in New York on 31 December the year before with one performance only in Paignton on the 30th December to secure the copyright.     All this to deter piracy in America.

The first time I did Pirates was in late February - in a leap year!  Needless to say there was some surprise extra business that Frederick was subjected to on the 29th.   Hopefully that won't happen this year despite the fact the we open on April fools day!

PS for those of you not sad enough to know the alternative titles of the G&S shows, The Slave of Duty is the alternate title for Pirates, and refers to Frederick, who proclaims himself to be the slave of duty in the opening scene.

Sticking to our last........

We got a mention in Accountancy Age in an article about how smaller firms are faring in recession.    They spoke to firms in Cambridge, London, and Sussex - good to see London based journalists traveling far and wide for news!

They interviewed PEM managing partner Paul Chapman,  who was quoted as saying the corporate finance practice was deployed in marketing and research.   That's true - we are.   But its a quote in isolation from a longer interview.  To read it you'd think that was all we were up to which is certainly not the case.

Things are certainly slower than last year, but we have some interesting assignments at the moment. Despite the economy it is still the right time for some businesses to buy, sell, or make plans and so M&A activity doesn't dry up.   Retirement for example can't always be delayed for example and this can lead to management buyout opportunities, or to trade sales.   Also for some businesses it is the right time in their business cycle due to what's happening in their market,  or their technology road map may dictate it,  or simply because they've been approached by a strategic buyer.    Of course acquirers are seeking value at the moment.

So we're not diverting the team to do insolvency work, as are so many of our competitors.  And the research and marketing is aimed at supporting our current work load, and wining more.    The nature of the work is changing, we are seeing clients bidding for businesses in insolvency, and some succession deals are being done with an increased proportion of vendor debt as bank funding is just not available at the levels we saw before.

Brand Identity and Website

We’ve been up and running for a few years and have done quite a few deals.  So we felt it was time we had a decent website to showcase our activities.   At the same time we have worked with leading local design house Mobas to establish a distinct new brand identity for PEMCF to sit alongside that of the “mothership” Peters Elworthy & Moore.


Pemcf Underpinning the new branding is professional market research done with our clients and local intermediaries in the corporate finance community such as bankers and lawyers.     Happily they said lots of good things about us – and this is reflected in the branding which includes real quotes from satisfied clients.      


The new strap line “Understanding what’s best for your business” also reflects client feedback – in short we listen, and it is very important to us to understand our clients’ personal goals, and to thoroughly understand their businesses.  This way we can personally deliver real insight, and get result for our clients.


Have a look at the new site on and let me know what you think.